Group exercises and role-plays are central to the Time and Talk method. Group activities allow participants to learn from each other's resources, skills and experience.
To ensure a positive learning experience for all participants, you should create a collaborative learning environment. This can be done by ensuring that the role-players are not always at the center of attention.
All participants in the exercise should be given an opportunity to contribute by offering input and suggestions and by acting out those suggestions.
Hot seating - Build a client profile by having observers ask questions of the person who will play the client.
Alter ego - Help participants understand what may be going on in the heads of the clinician and the client during the conversation by giving a peek into their thoughts and feelings.
Life line - Allow role players to pause and ask the audience for advice on what to do next.
Reality check - Ask observers, “If you were the client, what would you tell your partner or spouse about the appointment today?” or ask the role-players, "At this point, how would you describe what has happened so far to a close friend or someone at home?"
Matching game - Participants review the Competency Skills List and develop a question that they would ask a client based on a particular skill.
To involve the whole group and maximize the learning outcome of the session, you can give observers a task to complete while they are watching the role play.
For example, you can ask observers to identify and call out different aspects during the role play:
- Body language (non-verbal communication)
- Tone of voice (This can be done by asking the role player to turn their back on the group, so that the group concentrates on the voice, and disregards other expressions.)
- Focus on the agenda established by the role player at the outset, e.g. practicing being assertive or dealing with a difficult client who talks too much
- Looking out for open or closed questions used by the clinician
- Picking up cues, e.g. a client who mentions a worry that they constantly refer to, but do not speak about in reference to their hearing loss